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On 5 December 2013, a combination of high tides and strong winds caused severe flooding throughout Hull and surrounding areas. The insured client rents out property to businesses that occupy ground and first floor office space.
The ground floor, exterior yards and parking areas were flooded with up to 12 inches of water, leaving behind a residue of mud and silt. The building suffered extensive damage and the insured lost rental income from the ground floor tenants who had to evacuate and relocate.
T&B attended immediately after the floods had occurred. Generators were hired to provide electricity for the first floor tenants, initial cleaning and stripping out was undertaken and dryers installed. A surveyor was then appointed to produce a schedule of repairs, which was sent out to tender, followed by contractors undertaking repairs.
T&B liaised with the surveyor, client and loss adjuster to ensure payments were released to the contractor. They also agreed interim payments for the loss of rent and other associated building costs.
Repairs to the building were completed and the building could be fully let again. Two of the original tenants did not return and the loss of rent claim continued until alternative tenants were found.
As the only source of income for the owner of the building was rent from tenants, it was important to ensure repairs were undertaken swiftly and funds made available for contractors. Regular payments for loss of rent ensued and the policyholder’s cash flow was not unduly affected.
Damage was also caused to the mezzanine floor manufacturer and forklift truck rental company, affecting the offices, warehouse and manufacturing areas.
Machinery was damaged causing a serious impact on the business, as was a fleet of fork lift trucks the company rented to customers. Ground floor computer installations, including the main server, were all rendered inoperative.
T&B attended immediately and began working with the management team to organise reports detailing the extent of damage to machinery and equipment, temporary computer systems were installed and immediate orders were sub-contracted. The claim for the computer installation was agreed with insurers within five days.
To avoid losing orders, the insured took the decision to replace machinery that was capable of being repaired, as the lead time was much quicker. We agreed a proportion of these costs could be claimed under the business interruption policy, as they had avoided any loss of gross profit. As the claim process evolved, agreements were reached with the loss adjuster and an overall settlement was reached.
The insured took the opportunity to alter the layout of the offices and purchase alternative machinery, which fell within the sums recoverable from insurers. They were also able to make improvements to the building that should minimise the damage caused by flooding, should such an event happen again.
Thompson & Bryan were instructed to handle both the claims via Jelf Insurance Brokers and though Claims Advantage cover, underwritten by Amtrust.